Natalie Merchant at NCTE

Natalie Merchant’s new book, hot off the press, with music CD included 

Those of us present at Thursday night’s opening session at NCTE were entertained by singer-composer, Natalie Merchant.  It was a spellbinding performance, reminiscent of the bluesy, folksy voice of Janis Ian.

Merchant has taken the poetry of British and American poets of the 19th and 20th centuries and has put it to music.  Not only that, she has done research into the lives of these poets and she has some interesting stories to tell.

The session with Merchant reminded me that writing is more than the words on the page.  Writing can take on a new significance when you know a bit about the writer and the time she or he lived in.  She has accomplished what she set out to do:  make poetry more accesible and enjoyable for children.

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